Saturday, December 10, 2022

each 10december, remembering thomas merton, we renew our promises … happily so

 Three promises: 

Contemplation,  Conversation,  Correspondence. held by Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage“m.o.n.o.”(monastics of no other).

Contemplation  is the promise of simplicity.
It is a gift of poverty inviting open waiting, receptive trust, attention, and watchful presence. It is a simple Being-With. 
It is attentive presence.

Conversation  is the promise of integrity. 
It is a chaste and complete intention to listen and speak, lovingly and respectfully, with each and all made present to us. It is a wholeness of listening and speaking. 
It is root silence. 

Correspondence  is the promise of faithful engagement.  
It is responsible attention and intention offered obediently to the Source of all Being, to the Human Family, to Nature. It is a faithful engagement with all sentient beings, with this present world, with existence with all its needs & joys, sorrows & hope.
It is transparent service


Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage invites & welcomes individuals interested in the practice of these 3 promises in their life. Whether the interest is in conversing, praying, deepening, learning, or even holding these 3 promises, we invite you to enter the inquiry and stillness. May the loving light and the compassionate peace of the Christ and the Bodhisattva accompany and support the efforts of each one. 


Quotes: 1.  We are going to have to create a new language of prayer.  (Thomas Merton, Calcutta 1968)

2.   When you go apart to be alone for prayer…see that nothing remains in your consciousness mind save a naked intent stretching out toward God. Leave it stripped of every particular idea about God (what he is like in himself or in his works) and keep only the awareness that he is as he is. Let him be thus, I pray you, and force him not to be otherwise.   (Anonymous)

3.   I long for a great lake of ale. / I long for the men of heaven in my house. / I long for cheerfulness in their drinking. / And I long for Jesus to be there among them. (Brigid, Celtic saint)

4.   It is not by closing your eyes that you see your own nature. On the contrary, you must open your eyes wide and wake up to the real situation in the world to see completely your whole Dharma Treasure, your whole Dharma Body. The bombs, the hunger, the pursuit of wealth and power - these are not separate from your nature….You will suffer, but your pain will not come from your own worries and fears. You will suffer because of your kinship with all beings, because you have the compassion of an awakened one, a Bodhisattva. (Thich Nhat Hanh)     

5.   He who truly attains awakening knows that deliverance is to be found right where he is. There is no need to retire to the mountain cave. If he is a fisherman he becomes a real fisherman. If he is a butcher he becomes a real butcher. The farmer becomes a real farmer and the merchant a real merchant. He lives his daily life in awakened awareness. His every act from morning to night is his religion.  (Sokei-an)

follow the elipsis

 The deepest

Essence of

Now is

This …

where he, and everyone, goes

 Once Thomas Merton

Died this date 1968 —

Le point vierge, here

Friday, December 09, 2022

one thing creates another creates thing one

 Consciousness creates 


Reality creates 


And always 


twain shall 


i’m-a-go. … nah-i’m-a-stay

Inmates this morning (now called ‘residents’) talk about quantum physics, Vedanta, consciousness, good and evil, yogic types, and the evolution of spiritual insight into the nature of existence.

‘Just like this’

Truth and reality

Of a Friday morning.

‘Namaste’ one said. ‘Nah, I’m-a-go’ said another.

Thursday, December 08, 2022

and the world will live as one

 Quantum physics says that the universe is the cause and effect of its own existence.

Day by day.

Just drop all opinions and judgments,

See what happens.

Today in Catholic metaphor is feast of immaculate conception.

In Buddhist metaphor, Buddha’s enlightenment day.

In upper west side of Manhattan, the anniversary of John Lennon’s untimely killing.

At foot of ragged mountain, light from full moon.

All this.

It’s what we note.

nulla niente

 Q: Are you an atheist?

A: What is an atheist?

Q: Someone who says there is no god.

A: I’m good with no god.

Q: No god?

A: MU!

Q: Excuse me?

A: No.

Q: No?

A: Look, I’m good with MU, with un-ing all notions of god not immediate, direct, compassionate, or the quintessence of radical justice.

Q: Can I mark you down as an atheist?

A: MU! No! Mark me as present. Nothing attached. Nothing added. Nothing left out. Nothing remaining.

Q: I’m sorry.

A: No bother.

with impediments

 Think with me — begin

Today as impeded, lost

Absorbed with fully

Incomplete universe as

It tumbles around edges 

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

without impediment

 Maybe we’re special.

Something beyond raw matter

The stuff of  root breath

Unwitting agent birthing

All that will some day arrive

let’s face it

 To families experiencing times of difficulty and worry for your children — I wish you peace, and health, and consolation

luce dentro di sé

 I know a love…song

Begins with sound of rainfall

Ends with light switched

regurgitating the slovenly unstomachable

 Crime and disgrace, blech 

Old outdated ideas, who

Cares about venal

Men making millions off lies

No law can touch putrid fruit

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

walking among us

Senate is pat

Now the deal

Look at your hand

Play smart

The table is set

How many you want

Monday, December 05, 2022

chiaro e vero

 Don’t take. Don’t steal. Don’t covet. Don’t murder. Don’t ruin your or another’s marriage.

Any questions?

I didn’t think


don’t sing love songs you’ll wake my mother

 There’s a bullet

With his name

On it

Don’t load it

Don’t bring it near

The gun

Hate is

Justice without

(Yes) bother

When I became

A student of zen

I stopped killing

In my mind

I looked carefully

At evil

Deciding we are

All good/evil

At same time

Hence, choice

I have no gun

No scope

I’ve learned

To look at

The undead

Walking rueful

Poignancy feeling

No holster

No rifle

No thought of

Ending anything

Or anyone

Even him 

Così folle

Sunday, December 04, 2022

seeing through what is there to be seen through.

Heraclitus begins our reflection:

 The dead and the living, those awake and those sleeping, the young and the old are one and the same in us; the one, moved from its place is the other, and the other returned to its place is the one.      (-Heraclitus)

(Excerpt from: "Time and Space: A Poetic Autobiography" by Juan Ramon Jimenez,  iUniverse. Scribd.)

Then Plato:

 In the dialogue Plato introduces the story by having Socrates explain to Glaucon that the soul must be immortal, and cannot be destroyed. Socrates tells Glaucon the "Myth of Er" to explain that the choices we make and the character we develop will have consequences after death. Earlier in Book II of the Republic, Socrates points out that even the gods can be tricked by a clever charlatan who appears just while unjust in his psyche, in that they would welcome the pious but false "man of the people" and would reject and punish the truly just but falsely accused man. In the Myth of Er the true characters of the falsely-pious and those who are immodest in some way are revealed when they are asked to choose another life and pick the lives of tyrants. Those who lived happy but middling lives in their previous life are most likely to choose the same for their future life, not necessarily because they are wise, but out of habit. Those who were treated with infinite injustice, despairing of the possibility of a good human life, choose the souls of animals for their future incarnation. The philosophic life — which identifies the types of lives that emerge from experience, character, and fate — allow men to make good choices when presented with options for a new life. Whereas success, fame, and power may provide temporary heavenly rewards or hellish punishments, philosophic virtues always work to one's advantage.
(Myth of Er, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Finally, suchness:

Sunyata, or Empty of Inherent, Enduring, Independent Self-Nature 

One of the keys to getting to be able to see and experience reality this way is to recognize that things are empty. The term for this is Sunyata; emptiness. I’ve also heard the translation boundlessness, which is kind of cool because it basically means all of these individual things that we usually think or who we usually think have inherent, essential, independent, enduring self nature. There’s something inherently, independently real about them, and that that’s not actually the case, that all individual beings arise interdependently with everything else. That’s where we focus on emptiness. If you see the emptiness of things, then you see their true nature.

Emptiness can sound a little negative, right? It’s about what things don’t have, but there’s another way of describing reality, describing the absolute aspect of reality, which is more positive and has been around since a few hundred years after the Buddha or maybe even earlier. That term is Tatātā or Tathātā. This is translated as suchness or thusness because emptiness doesn’t mean a nihilistic void. Once we let go of our mental map of reality, of our attachment to an idea that something or someone has an inherent, enduring self nature, reality doesn’t just disappear. It doesn’t become a nihilistic void, it just is what it is without our mental map of it. Everything is such. 

(-from suchness-things-as-it-is, zenstudiespodcast )

 Sometimes, I don't know what to think.

Then it occurs to me -- that "not knowing what" -- is to begin to think.

When we know, we are not thinking. When we don't know, we begin to think. 

Like the Korean zen monk who stayed with us a few years ago on his ten thousand mile bicycle ride criss-crossing through the US, Canada, and Latin America, to begin (always just the beginning) to think is to recite the kong-an/mantra with every turn of the wheel on the road, "What Is This?" "What Is This?" as he did the whole way.

We think that thinking is undesirable. It is a belief of ideologues and fundamentalist dogmatists, as well as incuriously-minded followers of autocrats everywhere. 

But to begin to think is to engage the practice of seeing through what is there to be seen through.